Marauders Sweep Weekend
The Millersville Marauders saw a recurring theme return—big leads being given up almost to the point of perilously losing a game they should have won easily. The team narrowly escaped defeat by winning against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in overtime Friday 5-4, and they took it to La Salle by an 8-0 score.

In game one, Millersville jumped out fast. Nick Mullarkey, red hot, scored early to give the Ville the 1-0 lead. Sean Nielsen, also red hot, scored to give Millersville a 2-0 lead just three minutes in. Read Bohon added to the scoreboard to make it a three goal lead. Rutgers scored late to give them something to play for.

Read Bohon, now the team’s leading scorer, continues to dominate as a sophomore, as he scored to make it 4-1. Then, the tide completely switched. The team backed off and let Rutgers right back in the game. As with the first period, Millersville let in another Rutgers goal late in the second period to cut the lead to two.

Cue the dramatics. Rutgers scored twice within 12 minutes to tie it up at four. Both teams traded chances in the overtime period until Travis Duffey, playing forward, raced down the right wing. He flung a pass to the net that caught George Herman’s pad, and bounced into the net for the OT winner.

Against the La Salle Explorers, bench boss Ryan Behnken tinkered with his lines. He moved his top two forward lines to defense, and moved three defensemen to the top forward line. The Marauders rolled over La Salle right from the outset.

Early in the first period, the Explorers found themselves hemmed in their own zone. Sean Nielsen picked off a pass at the left point, danced two defenders and unleashed his blistering wrister to the top shelf to make it 1-0. Just a few minutes later, Nick Mullarkey, back on defense, fired a cross-ice pass in the neutral zone to a charging Cyle Knopf. Knopf showed his tremendous hands by working around a defender and finding the net to make it 2-0.

The Explorers continued to turn the puck over, and a turnover factored into the next goal. Austin Reaser entered the zone on the left wing after a turnover, cut to the middle of the ice and snapped it home to give Millersville a 3 goal cushion halfway through the first. Josh Feehan’s second goal as a Marauder continued the onslaught to end the first period up by four.

Josh Feehan added another, Kyle Lane added his first collegiate goal, Zach Juliano scored on the power play, and Mike Carpenter iced it, as if it needed any more icing, to win resoundingly, 8-0.

“I think we put together a good effort,” Behnken said. “We’re still looking to see a real test against our team as a whole.”

Millersville has had a propensity to give up multiple goal leads lately. They relinquished a four-goal lead to lose in overtime against Gettysburg two weeks ago, and they gave up a three-goal lead against Rutgers to barely escape on Friday. It has become a problem.

“We’ve had four-goal cushions before and that doesn’t really mean anything lately,” Behnken chuckled. “We tended to control the puck a little more. Puck possession is a big thing for us. We need to control the puck and play defense.”

Eric Hench picked up the shutout, the first shutout performance for him since the first game of the year against Lafayette. He turned away 30 shots in the victory.

“I felt really comfortable,” Hench said. “It was nice being back in net, feeling the puck. I felt like I did a solid job.”

The Marauders are currently on a three game winning streak, and are now tied for first place with Gettysburg in the GNCHC West standings. Things are beginning to look up for the Ville.

“We started off a little rocky there, splitting weekends and whatnot,” Hench said. “We’re starting to get a little roll on here, and hopefully we can finish out the season strong by plugging away and winning them all.”

The Marauders will hit the road next weekend by traveling to Muhlenberg, another GNCHC matchup, and then play the University of Delaware on Saturday. You can watch the action on justin.tv/villehockey.
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